Civil Rights Movement Vs Black Power Movement

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Following the economically successful post-WWII period, the 1960s decade was characterized by the upheaval of American norms at the time. No longer would various groups of people conform to the legislation and social norms of the United States. The Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement best illustrated this resistance against the status quo. Although these movements were made up of similar people, their tactics were immensely different. The Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement provided a foundation for student activism on college campuses. The Civil Rights Movement (1950s-1960s) was a movement mainly in the American South, where segregation, discrimination, and injustices against African American communities were…show more content…
Thus, the Black Power Movement was similar to the Civil Rights Movement in that they were both fighting racism. However, the Black Power Movement was not a nonviolent group of black activists. Malcom X, born Malcom Little and the leader of the Black Power Movement, believed that black people should defend themselves against any form of assault. He promoted militant techniques, such as rifle groups, and stood for cultural pride. For example, he jeered at white Americans who tanned and curled their hair as if they were trying to be black. Furthermore, Malcolm X did not believe integration was possible, and, in fact, he advocated for maintaining black culture separate. After the murder of Malcolm X in 1965, the Black Panther Party was formed in Oakland, California by Huey B. Newton and Bobby Seal in 1966. Bobby Seale stated, "No more pigs in our community, off the pig, it 's time to pick up a gun." This became the inspiration for their techniques to deal with police brutality. This group remained faithful to the beliefs of Malcom X, using guns to deal with police brutality by following them as they tended to their police duties, watching to make sure the law was properly followed. In many ways, the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Power Movement built a foundation for resistance that student movements…show more content…
Students were influenced by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 's peaceful methods. The CORE, Congress of Racial Equality, was established by students in 1942. They were a part of the black freedom struggle in the south, perusing nonviolent methods with Ghandi 's values as the inspiration. Additionally, Ella Baker led and guided black students in peaceful protests and formed the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The SNCC continued to play an active role in the black freedom struggle and moved from Civil Rights to Black power after Stokely Carmicle first used the term "Black Power," and challenged nonviolence, followed by Malcom X coming into being at the forefront of the Black Power Movement. The college student activism movement onto college campuses in 1966 when the first black union was formed by San Francisco State University students. This union got a black studies program at their institution. At Cornell University in New York, students conducted a sit-in for three days in the administration building and marched out with rifles and shotguns, clearly mirroring Black Panther ideals. Students around the U.S. seemed to be inspired by these groups forming and joined together to be a generation of resistance. The black freedom struggle was the initial way for black and white college students to involve themselves in politics.
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